But by the time they arrived at Zang Tuum Tumb, several chapters of 808 State’s history story had already been written. Martin Price had met Graham Massey, while he was running the Eastern Bloc record shop on Oldham Street, famously bumping into Graham - producer/engineer and member of Factory’s Biting Tongues arthouse collective - as he was working in the café opposite.
MC Tunes had been integral to the 808 plot since day one. And, when the band signed to ZTT, he signed his own deal too. There’d been rapping on Nasty Rox Inc.’s Ca$h album a couple of years before, but Tunes was the label’s first, full-on rapper and signed when he was just 18. 808 wrote and recorded the music for almost every Tunes release including the number ten debut single The Only Rhyme That Bites and it’s number 18 follow-upTunes Splits the Atom.
Darren Partington: “The students love Tunes Splits the Atom because of the Stone Roses sample. A lot of people were initially wary because you don’t sample the Stone Roses, you just don’t. It’s one of those sacred things. Does it sound like we had fun when we made it? I think it still does. With MC Tunes it was nice to take the 808 hat off and just have a bit of fun, musically. It was a breath of fresh air to have a batch of lyrics to cover with music.”
extract from the book accompanying
Zang Tuum Tumb, The ZTT Box Set
The North At Its Heights